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Lister House: “Why is it costing so much money?” asks Tories

Politics / Mon 21st Oct 2013 at 10:26am

By Perdi Harris and Jess McArdle

HARLOW Conservative councillors have questioned the amount of taxpayers money being ploughed into the “regeneration” of Lister House in Staple Tye.

The health centre was a matter for debate at a recent meeting of the Harlow Cabinet.

Leader of the Harlow Conservatives, cllr Andrew Johnson asked: “Although the developments are right for the town, and although we are going to have a new health centre; is this the best way of spending £580,000 pounds worth of tax payers money?”

His question was met with a robust defence by portfolio holder, cllr Tony Durcan.

He said: “I’m delighted that I was actually given the opportunity to propose this resolution, because actually we’ve waited too long and it really does open up some really unique opportunities, not just the well being of that community but also opens further access and opportunities for the Staple Tye area, and we all know and certainly you know that colleagues and councils of that particular area, it is fairly run down and really does need that investment and that re vamp. It needs both the local jobs for local people but also there are other housing opportunities there.

“So it’s timely that they’re doing this and I’m absolutely delighted that we are. At the end of the day we have a partner that has a very substantial linkage to this town from it’s very essence and it has worked hard and it is an organisation and is developing opportunities around health and well being.”

“I can absolutely assure Cllr Johnson that every penny being spent we will be accounted for, and every penny that we spend on behalf of the residents of Harlow will be spent appropriately, safely and securely to absolutely ensure that we get the right amount of facilities and right opportunities for the next generation, over this particular issues.”

But the Harlow Conservatives were not impressed with cllr Durcan’s defence.

Cllr Russell Perrin said: “ Yes we support the scheme, but can you assure us and other members of the public that this was a good deal for us?“

Cllr Jean Clark interjected. She said: “I think that this is an appalling, absolutely appalling inquisition of the membership of the health service trust. We do not go round querying peoples membership on an issue like this.”

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